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Fondren Library Center

About Fondren Library

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"Newest addition to the quadrangle is the air-conditioned Fondren Library. With its opening, a long-felt need will be filled"
--Silver Anniversary Rotunda 1940

W. W. and Ella Fondren began their family's association with SMU in 1919. Their gift of Humble Oil stock shares in 1935 funded the construction of the Fondren Library. It was completed in 1940 and had most of the characteristics of a library building of that period.

By 1968, Fondren Library, with the largest collection on campus housing materials in the humanities, social sciences and business, had already outgrown its original walls. Once again through the generosity of the Fondren Family and Foundation along with federal assistance as authorized through the Higher Education Facilities Assistance Act, the library was enlarged by a four floor addition to the east end of the building. The west end of the original Fondren Library now houses the DeGolyer Library of Special Collections.

Fondren Library was designated as a selective federal depository in 1925 and receives approximately 70% of government depository publications. Fondren Library also offers a state of the art Assistive Technology Center . The Information Commons combines traditional reference assistance with computer lab technology and support service in an inviting casual environment on the first floor. Fondren Library is also home to the CUL Interlibrary Loan Department. A wide range of user education classes is offered by librarians in three computer classrooms.

Science and Engineering Library

The Science/Engineering Library opened in November 1961, funded by the Texas Instruments, Erik Jonsson, and Eugene McDermott Foundations. The library is located in the north wing of the Fondren Library Center in the northeast corner of the campus. SEL became part of the Central University Libraries in April 1977, and was physically integrated with Fondren Library in November 1998 with the completion of the Fondren Library Center.

The library houses its collections in the natural & physical sciences and engineering subjects along with numerous computer work stations which provide access to the library's various scientific & technical electronic resources. The library is home to large periodicals and microforms collections and reader/printer equipment. The Foscue Map Library is located on the first floor.

Photographs at right: John Messina, 1960, Science Information Center in Dallas brochure
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The Link

In 1998, the Fondren East Library and the Science and Engineering Library were connected with a new entrance structure. This union was marked by a Dedication Ceremony on Friday, November 13, 1998. A gift of $1.5 million, again from the Fondren Foundation, marked a campus milestone and was the first construction project to result from gifts made to The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead.

Two impressive entrances on the east and west and a second floor study area were included within this connecting "link." Within the new connection, the merged circulation and reserve desk provides service for both the Fondren and Science and Engineering collections. The most striking feature of the area is a central open space with a view into the dome and cupola of Selecman Tower.

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